LOGAN, Utah — Utah State's football team held its first official practice of the 2019 season Thursday afternoon as 107 players dressed in helmets, practice jerseys and shorts for the two-hour workout on the USU practice fields. Among the group were nine returning starters (2-offense; 7-defense) and 31 returning lettermen (13-offense; 16-defense; 2-specialists), including 15 seniors.
First-year head coach Gary Andersen, who is in his second stint with the Aggies after coaching the program from 2009-12, was pleased with his team’s performance on Day One.
“It was a positive first day. The players were excited to be out here, and they should be,” said Andersen. “One of the things that impressed me today was the special teams. We kicked the ball well and our drills were very clean and precious. It was also nice to see the calmness of our defensive backs as a whole. It’s hard to line up against our offense with all the formations and pace they throw at you, and we didn’t see a lot of panic from that group.”
Several familiar faces stood out on Thursday, including junior All-American linebacker David Woodward, who intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown on the first live play of fall camp.
Another defensive highlight came courtesy of junior safety Cash Gilliam, who wrestled the football away from a receiver on a deep pass for his first interception this fall.
The day’s top offensive highlight came on a pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Andrew Peasley to junior wide receiver Savon Scarver. Scarver caught the swing pass and used his track speed to run away from the defense for a lengthy touchdown reception.
One newcomer who caught Coach Andersen’s eye on Thursday was tight end Caleb Repp. The graduate transfer from Utah had a couple of nice conversions on third down pass plays from junior quarterback Jordan Love.
Thursday was the first of 24 practices for the Aggies leading up to their season-opening game at Wake Forest on Friday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. (MT) in a game that will be nationally televised on the ACC Network. Utah State will then begin its home season the following weekend against Stony Brook on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 5:30 p.m. Mountain West play begins two weeks later as USU travels to San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 21, in a game that will be televised nationally CBS Sports Network at 8:30 p.m. (MT).
As part of the NCAA's five-day acclimation period, Utah State will again be in shorts and helmets on Friday, then add shoulder pads on Saturday and Monday. The Aggies' first practice in full pads will be on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Utah State's first scrimmage will be closed to the public, but fans are invited to its last scrimmage as part of Family Football Fun Day, sponsored by Macey’s, at Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 5 p.m.
Utah State is picked to finish second in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West as voted on by media members that cover the league. Furthermore, Love was named the Conference’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while senior defensive end Tipa Galeai, senior cornerback DJ Williams, junior kickoff returner Savon Scarver and junior linebacker David Woodward joined Love on the preseason all-MW team.
2019 Utah State Football Fall Camp Dates
- Fri., Aug. 2 - 2:45 - 5:15 p.m. - (Open to public and media)
- Sat., Aug. 3 - 2:45 - 5:15 p.m. - (Open to public and media)
- Mon., Aug. 5 - 2:45 - 5:15 p.m. - (Open to public and media)
- Tues., Aug. 6 - 2:45 - 5:15 p.m. - (Open to public and media)
- Wed., Aug. 7 - 2:45 - 5:15 p.m. - (Open to public and media)
- Thur., Aug. 8 - 2:45 - 5:15 p.m. - (Open to public and media)
- Fri., Aug. 9 - 2:45 - 5:15 p.m. - (Open to public and media)
- Sat., Aug. 10 - (Closed)
- Mon., Aug. 12 - (Closed)
- Tues., Aug. 13 - (Closed)
- Wed., Aug. 14 - (Closed)
- Thur., Aug. 15 - (Closed)
- Fri., Aug. 16 - (Closed)
- Sat., Aug. 17 – 5 p.m. – Family Football Fun Day (Open to public and media)
- Mon., Aug. 19 - (Closed)
- Tues., Aug. 20 - (Closed)
- Wed., Aug. 21 - (Closed)
- Thur., Aug. 22 - (Closed)
- Fri., Aug. 23 - (Closed)
- Sat., Aug. 24 – (Closed)
- Mon., Aug. 26 - (Closed)
- Tues., Aug. 27 - (Closed)
- Wed., Aug. 28 - (Closed)